MacStay will be next Peterborough Town Administrator

  • The Peterborough Town House Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Peterborough Town Administrator Nicole MacStay. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/17/2020 6:33:55 PM

The Peterborough Select Board announced Tuesday that Deputy Town Administrator Nicole MacStay will replace retiring Town Administrator Rodney Bartlett, effective Jan. 1, 2021.  Bartlett announced his retirement earlier this year.

The announcement is the culmination of a five-year succession plan developed by town leadership in 2015, the town wrote in a press release Tuesday evening. MacStay, a Peterborough native, has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Franklin Pierce University and has worked for the town for 14 years under Administrator Pam Brenner as Assistant Town Administrator, and as Deputy Town Administrator under Bartlett. 

“While I am proud of my educational achievements, municipal management is not a profession that lends itself well to being taught in a traditional, academic setting,” MacStay said.  “It is one that must be learned by doing; ‘in the trenches’ as Pam Brenner was fond of saying.  Since 2006, these trenches have been a very real proving ground, and the experiences I have had since joining this team have provided my real education.”

MacStay listed the following experiences as foundational in preparing her for taking over the reins next year:

■Keeping the town’s budget flat through the Great Recession without cutting into the services that residents expect.

■Responding to the 2008 Ice Storm both during the crisis and the long-term changes to how the town responds to natural disasters.

■Expanding the ambulance service from a simple 911 service with on-call responders to a sophisticated interfacility transfer service staffed 24/7 by skilled paramedics.

■Modernizing and digitizing nearly every aspect of town government to improve citizen access and improve workflow and productivity. 

■Developing the Town’s social media and online presence and adapting as technology and platforms have evolved.

■Managing and coordinated the Annual Budget process through acceptance by Town Meeting.

■Adapting how the town serves its residents and maintain operational transparency through the COVID-19 crisis, including adapting Town Meeting procedures to include virtual warrant article presentations and Q&A sessions to allow all voters to participate while minimizing any risk of exposure.

Select Board Chair Tyler Ward, who has worked with and observed MacStay over the last six years, said “Nicole has proven herself a dedicated and competent manager, someone the board has come to count on to keep us informed and on track.” He added, “She is a team player, well respected among her peers and staff. We know she’ll do an outstanding job.”

Select Board member Bill Taylor said “Nicole is there for us 24 hours a day and seven days a week. She has the answers, she know the laws and regulations that govern us better than anyone. She knows this Town inside and out from not only the business aspect, but as a lifelong resident that cares deeply about the future. She knows each department inside and out and will masterfully lead us through the challenges that lie ahead. There is absolutely nobody that is better suited for this position, and I look forward to a continued excellent relationship that I have come to respect intensely. Peterborough is about tradition and inclusion, and this appointment honors that.”

Bartlett will continue to oversee the Main Street Bridge and Library projects as a part time consultant during 2021.

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